R E L A T I O N S H I P S:
Brothers and sisters. Half, step, or whole! Always bossing, teasing, whining, or just being a pain in the butt. What is all the screaming about?
You're jealous of each other.
(Hey, we didn't make this up! It's been true since the dawn of Time.)
"You get more attention/love/allowance/freedom than me!"
"I do not!"
"You do too!"
"It's not fair! You always get what you want."
Let's get off the roller coaster and learn to live with our sibs.
It's normal for siblings to disagree and fight. After all you have to share everything - your home, your bathroom, your parents, the telephone, the car. Everything! And of course, there are tons of other issues....like:
- Whose sweatshirt is that?
- Who is supposed to do the dishes tonight?
- Who always gets the front seat?
One of you may be older, bigger, stronger, or smarter, but that doesn't matter when it comes to resolving conflicts fairly. Because you were little kids together and got used to acting certain ways with each other you have to work very hard to break the pattern of blaming each other and... stop acting like little kids!!!
Why Should You?
Because resolving conflicts with siblings prepares you for dealing with other people in the rest of your life.
What To Do? Break the negative patterns!
Step #1 - Only use "I feel" statements. Instead of using phrases like: "You always do this to me...", or "You never let me... ", use "I feel" statements like: "I feel frustrated when you slam the door in my face." or "I feel really jealous when you get to stay out later than me!"
This will end the blaming/defensive dance many sibs do.
Step # 2 - Listen. Sit down and really listen to each other without interrupting, questioning, or interpreting. Make sure that you both get to tell your entire story. Then ask yourself these questions:
- What could you have done differently?
- What would you like to do next time?
Step # 3 - Brainstorm.
Step #4 - Cool off. Sometimes when sibs are angry they get physical with each other. Control your impulse to hit, push, or use any physical force against your sibling. You may be thinking, "But we always do this!" Maybe you do... but it isn't working.
- Work together figuring out ways to handle the problem.
- Take turns coming up with ideas.
- Set time limits.
- Treat your sib the way you'd like to be treated. (Believe it or not, he/she is a person, too!)
Violence never does.
So cool off before you try to "talk" to your sibling. Use the breathing, focusing exercise described in Conflict Resolution "ToolKit." When you are more in control and feel centered you will express yourself more clearly and be a better listener.
You are both entitled to:
R E L A T I O N S H I P S
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last updated November 19, 2005
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